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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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The Kremlin had been prematurely caught in the wheels of the chariot
of the god-of-war, and all its propaganda regarding e revolution/ c inter-
national proletariat/ and ' class warfare ' was out-of-date for the present
No one in Europe at this stage had the time nor the opportunity to ponder
over the abstract problems such as these; even the Communist parties
in the different countries, who until now had accused the Allies of waging
an 'imperialist war/ had changed. their policy. During the autumn
of 1941, while the German gale was sweeping over the plains of the
Soviet Empire,, the Kremlin was entirely pre-occupied with saving
itself from disaster. For the first time in twenty-five years. Soviet
Communism, facing defeat, stood in the position of defence. Hitler's
action had swung the wheel of Russia's foreign policy over 180 degrees.
Through the medium of the British Government, they now hurriedly
resumed diplomatic relations with those anti-German Powers whose
envoys, not so long ago, had been unceremoniously evicted from Moscow.
The first and most important agreement had to be made with Poland,
Moscow afterwards resumed relations with the Belgian, Norwegian,
Yugoslavian and Greek Governments, and the Czecho-Slovakian Pro-
visional Government. The Kremlin recognised the National Committee
of General de Gaulle's Free French Movement, and on September 27,
1941, signed an agreement with Dr. Benes in London for the formation
of a Czech Army in the U.S.S.R.
Thus, as long as the Germans were still marching steadily eastward,
and the Kremlin saw the handwriting on the wall, Stalin's foreign policy
was one of moderation, the policy of any peace-loving country.* No
imperialist slogan was permitted to rear its head in the Soviet pro-
paganda. "We have no desire to seize foreign territory or conquer
foreign people ** was all which appeared. The thesis of the Atlantic
Charter now seemed suitable ideological grounds for the Soviet's partici-
pation in the Coalition. The eagerness of the Kremlin to gain the help
of Britain and the U.S. even went as far as Stalin seeing no reason why
he should not sign the Treaty on July 2,1941, with Britain, " laying the
foundation for a joint action in the organisation of peace for the world."
He agreed on a " collective security " in the future, strengthened by the
military forces of both powers. By this the " independence and sover-
eignity of the smaller states was fully guaranteed."
In this first period of Russia's participation in the Second Great War,
it seemed as if she had completely discarded the traditional nature of
her policy and of a Communist conception of war. The Comintern was
banished to the back row, its role as a tool of the Soviet foreign policy
visibly reduced. The Communist parties of Great Britain and U.S.
were now instructed to act in their respective countries as the' competitors'
* No change was made in the internal policy of Russia. The reins of the
regime were not loosened. The political convicts in the labour camps were not
released. No concessions, no amnesty, no political mildness was granted to anyone.